Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Une journée de découverte

Today was indeed a Day of Discovery. We started out at the Petit Palais (you might remember that I mentioned it before here).

The Petit Palais is so full of amazing works of art. I can't even begin to describe the scope of their collection. There are artifacts from ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval and Renaissance paintings and sculpture from all over Europe, and works that span the centuries right up until the Art Deco era of the 1920s. Wow!

So, let's take a look, shall we? (Definitely an abbreviated tour of the museum!)

I didn't take any photos of the Greco-Roman art because most of it was in display cases, which would have resulted in some awful reflections. I'll start with the Medieval and Renaissance section.

Obviously pretty heavy on the religious imagery.

There was a section on art and artifacts from the era of Louis XV - no not Louis, the Sun King of Versailles, nor his famous grandson of the Revolution. The poor king in between who gets little recognition (except for his affair with Madame Pompadour). But he had some pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.

Turquoise is SO back in fashion now. Wouldn't you love to have this tea set?

And then some art work from Northern Europe.

I can't even remember whose painting this is, I just loved all the chubby girls (and the big fat guy) because it was a refreshing change from the emaciated models of today. Vive la robust woman! (No, that's not real French.)

And, of course, your typical Dutch Master with the fixation on dead poultry. Yeah, not my favourite either, but there sure was a lot of it.

Now we move on to late 19th to early 20th century works.

The above is from the Realist school of work, where typical characters were depicted in everyday or normal life scenes.

Monet could have been painting here.

Do you like Art Nouveau? This sculptor was fascinated with the grotesque. This frog was probably the tamest of his creations (the one next to it was a frog with rabbit ears...).

I'd like this furniture in my dining room (if my dining room were 4x larger).

A portrait of Sarah Bernhardt.

Society ladies in commissioned portraits.

I really liked the display of decorative art pieces from the early 20th century. This seahorse vase would go nicely in my house... but it wasn't for sale (not that I asked).

How cute is that monkey?

There was a very nice courtyard garden and cafe which we visited after we had browsed the exhibitions. We wanted to have lunch in the cafe, but couldn't find a place to sit. Here's Sandi posing by the ornamental grasses. She took a nice picture of me on her camera (descending the ornate staircase in the gallery) but my computer won't accept her camera's memory card. Too bad.

In the afternoon, while Sandi took a catnap, I went off on an exploration of my own. I have to admit I do love to go wandering by myself. I am quite used to doing things alone and have come to need a bit of quiet time now and then. I went to the Square René Viviani (very close to our apartment) and spent some time writing a few pages of drivel in my little notebook and reading. Then I went for a walk to find the beach that we keep hearing about. Mission accomplished!

This is five minutes away! I was a bit disappointed that there's no water access, but I can still see myself spending a day lounging on one of those blue chairs, reading and dreaming and napping while life goes on around me.

On my way home, I made another discovery around the corner. I love this street sign: The Street of the Cat who Fishes.

And the street carrying that wonderful name? Here it is - a freeway of sorts. haha.

That's it for tonight, my faithful few readers. Remember that every experience can be an adventure... if you let it!

Bonne nuit!


Pat said...

My favorite items were the tea set and the vase, but I must alert you to the fact that I am NOT learning French (as you promised we would if we stuck with you on the trip). I say this because I was thinking Petite Palais would mean SMALL Palace and the artwork was all going to be miniature things. See...either I'm a failure at this language-learning stuff or you are losing your teaching ability. (Probably the former!!!) LOL

Barb said...

I just love reading your post, thanks so much. Love the art...

Quilting Lab said...

Another lovely day in Paris!

Annie said...

Loved the art, especially Sarah Bernhardt and the society ladies. Found your great-grandmothers name - Marie Amelia Paupey. I hope that is the correct spelling of the last name, apparently her father was drunk (in celebration, of course) when he registered her so there could have been a slip between the wine and the writing. Love and Hugs :)

QuilterPattiO said...

I wouldn't miss one of your adventures. Thanks for all the photos.